We are spotlighting author, Billy Beasley today and sharing more information about his book, The Preacher's Letter. Let's chat with Billy and learn more about him and his writing journey.
What was the inspiration for your latest book?
I think we have all crossed paths with that egotistical, religious person who does more harm than good. I witnessed this from a pastor and then my mind took off to a place of what ifs. What if he is out of touch but his wife is not and she reaches out to the person who has lost hope.
Also this book became a way to pay homage to my friend, Horace Hilton, who was the good Shepherd in real life, just as he was portrayed in The Preacher’s Letter.
Why did you decide to become an author?
It was something I always wanted to try and during a dark time of depression I begin filling the empty hours by writing.
What is your favorite aspect of writing?
When the story is flowing so well that it wakes you in the early morning hours and you are compelled to forego sleep to write.
What was your favorite interaction with a reader?
Too many to choose just one so I will go with the most recent. A friend bought The Preacher’s Letter at my first book signing back in February. She informed me that she was going to save it for a beach read and this time she was going to savor the story and read one chapter a day. She read my first novel, The River Hideaway, in a day and a half. I received the following message yesterday.
“I started your book this afternoon. I am on page 75 and you have made me have tears running down my face once already. You have pulled me in big time-again!”
Do you have any writing advice for novice writers?
Read a lot. Observe different styles. Find your own and don’t let anyone tell you what that should be. Even your professor. Don’t talk about how you are going to write. Write! Put the work in.
Do you have any marketing advice for novice writers?
Be diligent. Don’t take No easily. I approached Barnes & Noble in my hometown with my first book. Grudgingly they ordered six books and told me that if they were not gone quickly they would be returned to the publisher. They kept placing small orders until they agreed to a book signing. They had 29 books on hand and they were gone in thirty minutes. We had a four hour signing scheduled. My son and wife sold books out of my truck in the parking lot. The readers then brought them into the store for me to sign with Barnes & Noble’s permission.
The Preacher’s Letter came out in January this year. They ordered books right away and contacted me for a book signing. This one sold out as well but with fifteen minutes to spare.
I was blessed to have some people who believed in me and they worked diligently to spread the word. Unless you are fortunate enough to land with a big publisher right away you will fight the battle of limited name recognition. Be prepared and do all you can to keep getting your name out there. I did a live television interview this month. It was the last thing I wanted to do. I was so nervous. But I could not say no.
About the Book
The Preacher’s Letter
Troy Dawkins hears a pop in his right shoulder and his dream of pitching in the major leagues vanishes. It is the first event in which those close to him refer to in hushed voice as ‘The Trilogy of Tragedy.’ Three disasters neatly spaced seven years apart.
He receives an unwelcome letter from an egotistical preacher that sets off a strange chain of events. With a newfound friend and possible love on the line, can he find a way to escape the haunting nightmares of death and rediscover hope, finding faith... one last time?
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. Teke is the only living being that is allowed in his office when he is writing.
Billy and Julie are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
The Preacher’s Letter is his second traditionally published work of fiction.
Billy’s shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in his first novel, The River Hideaway - Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
You can read Billy's "Sunday Inspiration" column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.